"My name is Brian and I'm an Ex Mormon."




I was a faithful member for three decades. I was raised in a good LDS home. served a faithful mission in Brazil, got married in the temple and always worthily held a temple recommend. I was a gospel doctrine teacher, teachers' advisor, elder's quorum counselor, branch president, etc. Active my whole life. I'd followed the rules, I believed it and I meant it with all my heart.

When in my early 30s I began to wonder about the nature of suffering and the role of prayer. Suffering seems to abound in an intensity, frequency and distribution which did not align with the idea of a compassionate, loving deity. Why would god help me drive safely in a snowstorm, but not help a terrified mother while her children are murdered in front of her before she is gang raped, like many women are in Africa? A local story in the news was of a child that was raped and buried alive. A tsunami in Indonesia killed 250,000 people.

Nature is clearly indifferent to suffering. Was god indifferent, too?

Those horrific events left me to question the existence of god. I understood basics of geology, astronomy and physics to a degree which left the possibility of naturally occurring universe without the need of a creator. I prayed. I went to the temple and prayed. I prayed in the car, I prayed at my bedside. I prayed for years feeling that after 30 years of compliance I had demonstrated my willingness to obey the truth. I prayed with all the faith I could muster, with a sincere desire to believe and follow, knowing I had excercized my faith first.

Having a son of my own I understood that a loving father would not ignore a child's sincere requests. A loving father would at least tell a son that his question was heard, even if the son wasn't ready for the answer.

No answer came. Why? I had committed no major sins. Never smoked, never touched drugs or alcohol. I read scriptures and prayed and served. I felt worthy of my temple recommend. I had as much faith as I knew how to have.

I was bothered that it was so hard to tell the difference between "the spirit" and my own thoughts.


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Views: 234

Comment by Steve Skinner on January 15, 2011 at 7:07pm
nice  Thank you!
Comment by Jean Bodie on January 16, 2011 at 9:54am
I love you Brian.
Comment by Don on January 16, 2011 at 2:55pm
Wat a great experience. I'll bet there are so many that have the same feelings. :) I am so happy i left. :)

Comment by Control Zee on January 17, 2011 at 10:02am
The exmormon community is a lifesaver. It took a little nerve to put it out there, but I'm glad I did. For those who don't know it, that's me!
Comment by MikeUtah on January 17, 2011 at 10:06am
I didn't understand the nerve it took to do these until I just heard my video will probably be ready for Feb 5th :-x!  That's putting it on the line in a way I hadn't felt before.  I respect each and everyone of us who puts our integrity on the line every day as we navigate a life after mormonism.
Comment by Jean Bodie on January 17, 2011 at 5:20pm
I felt the same way Micah; weird huh? We are both so 'out there' with our beliefs and disbelief. One would think we would not care about it, but I was quite anxious and nervous that someone would say something unkind that would hurt me some more. Then I said to myself, "Self, stop being a wuss; people can say what they like - it only hurts if I let it." So far I haven't read anything unkind, but I did see a couple of unkind comments on Michelle's video and she doesn't deserve that. We are only telling our stories; our truth and if others don't like it - oh well, sucks to be them.
Comment by Don on January 17, 2011 at 6:40pm
We have the right to tell others of our experiences. There is no reason to feel bad about the truth. I feel sad that some live and breathe under the oppression of the LDS Church. If you want to be free, be so. It is really just that simple. There is a lot of smoke and fear to cut through, but it is really just that simple. State your freedom and e so. They only have the power you grant them, and not a bit more. :)

Comment by Mr. Deity on January 18, 2011 at 10:10am
From one Brian to another, welcome to the real world! I enjoyed your video and am glad you were able to break free.
Comment by UtahissunnierthanOregon on January 19, 2011 at 10:44pm
His questions are the same questions I had, and currently have.   Really,  the nature of suffering and happiness is not something that is easily dealt with. If you have a system that just points away from those questions then one is just left in the dark.  Cheers to you Brian!   On another note,  Heineken?  It's on your shirt, does this mean you prefer it? Or is it just your gateway beer?
Comment by Control Zee on January 23, 2011 at 4:18pm
@Mike and Jean - Yeah, I feel pretty vulnerable putting myself out there, but it's a small price to pay for standing for what's right!

@Don - Absolutely. They only have the power we give them. And this week, I cut their final string. I sent in my resignation letter!!

@Brian - Wow! From the Deity himself. Your comment made my day!! You and I met at TAM8, and I admire the hell out of you. Thank you for the vote of confidence.

@Wayne - lol If you look closely, you'll see the shirt actually says "Hawaiian" and, amusingly, was a gift from by LDS parents. As for the nature of suffering, tragedy was much easier for me to understand outside of a religious framework. "Shit just happens" is all I really had to grasp. The theist's explanation is a daunting task indeed.


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